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PSY3030 : Foundations in Forensic and Criminal Psychology

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s):
  • Lecturer: Dr Nicole Adams-Quackenbush
  • Owning School: Psychology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To provide students with an insight into the general area of forensic psychology and to develop critical understanding of:

how psychological research has been applied to understanding the causes of criminal behaviour, including the assessment and treatment of offenders, and:

the way such research can be used in an applied setting through investigative psychology.

Outline Of Syllabus

•       Introduction to Forensic and Criminological psychology
•       Theories of crime and offending
•       Assessment and treatment of offenders
•       Psychological disorders e.g. Antisocial and Narcissistic Personality Disorders, Psychopathy.
•       Investigative and legal psychology

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials32:006:00Non-synchronous online
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture72:0014:00Present in person
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading162:0062:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops22:004:00Present in person - Skills Practice, Deception Detection, Eyewitness Line ups
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00Present in person: Assessment preparation and guidance
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study152:0052:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lecture materials and structured learning activities will be used as the main way to impart knowledge and to stimulate interests in the topics. The private study time will allow students to carry out an in-depth review of the knowledge imparted through lecture materials, to generate their own views on the topics and to follow these out by carrying out independent reviews of the literature, thereby taking control over their learning and preparing them for the final assessment. The workshops will give students the opportunity to apply their knowledge of the main themes presented in the module as well as contemporary topics in forensic psychology to an applied task and develop the outcome skills necessary for that task. Students will also explore the workshop topics from a practitioner standpoint to examine the functionality of certain tasks and any associated issues or challenges.

The contact time for this module reflects the amount of preparation students are expected to do for the assessment.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Examination101M20Recorded group presentation answering 1 question from a battery of past exam questions. Students will work in groups 3-5.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M80A 1500 word paper answering one of three questions based on a real case.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The group presentation will develop their skills to work collaboratively towards a common goal and will provide students an opportunity to articulate their understanding of a topic. It will also develop their written and oral presentation skills as well as critical formulation and evaluation of the topic question.

The final assessment is a 1500-word report answering one of three predetermined topic questions. Students will be expected to demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate the topic and provide their own supported and evidenced views on the subject. Finally, an assessment of this nature provides the student with an opportunity to articulate their comprehension of the main themes and topics presented throughout the module.

FMS Schools offering Semester One modules available as ‘Study Abroad’ will, where required, provide an alternative assessment time for examinations that take place after the Christmas vacation. Coursework with submissions dates after the Christmas vacation will either be submitted at an earlier date or at the same time remotely. The form of assessment will not vary from the original

Reading Lists